Surprise

Click here to read Acts 3 on BibleGateway.com

surpriseThere you are, silently, trying not even to breathe.  You can hear them coming down the hall, stumbling a little with morning grogginess.  You wait…wait…wait as they draw closer and closer to your hiding place.   And just when you see that first footstep come around the corner, kablooie, out you jump with the roar of a thousand wildbeasts.  Such sweet joy; the look of terror as their eyes fling open, their arms flinging out in front and to the sides trying to catch their balance, and the shriek…oh, the shriek.  Is there anything better than jumping out and scaring one of your parents when you’re a kid?  Or, if you happen to be a slightly less mature adult, scaring your kids?

Surprising someone is one of the great joys of life.  We prepare elaborate surprise birthday parties that only a blind donkey could miss coming.  We wrap up skis to open on Christmas morning (skis? How will you sneakily wrap skis?) We play peekaboo with our infants.  The shock of seeing your face appear behind your hands for the ten thousandth time never gets old.  All for that little joy we call surprise.

SAME OLE SAME OLE

In Acts 3, we read the famous story of Peter and John walking to the temple, and the healing of the crippled man who sits there begging (sing along; “silver and gold have  I none…).  There he is, a man crippled for life that the whole city walks past daily.  For years, they pass him, maybe once in a while throwing a nickle or two to help him out. As much a fixture of the street as the pavement and guy selling kosher hotdogs.

Then suddenly, he’s walking.  Not just walking; running like a hyperactive 2nd grader, jumping like a spastic kangaroo. Peter looks at the crowd and asks the dumbest question imaginable (not surprising for Peter): Why are you surprised?

Why? Umm…because that crippled dude is doing jumping jacks.  Because I gave that guy my last twenty bucks on the way to church today to help out a poor man, and now he’s running around with my twenty bucks in his pocket. Because crippled people don’t just get up and run around.

HEAR ME NOW AND BELIEVE ME LATER

Notice where these people are going: to the temple.  These guys are going to worship almighty God, creator of the whole universe.  But they are surprised when God does something in their midst.  Why? Why are we surprised, when we believe that God can, when we actually does?  Sometimes our faith, amazingly, is at its lowest when we are going to worship God.

What will God do for you this year? Will he answer that prayer you’ve been praying for fifteen years? Will he throw open the floodgates of heaven so that you can’t believe the blessing?  Will you get that promotion, that job, that grandbaby, that spouse, that dream?  Will you run and jump after being stuck in place for years? Will he do above and beyond all you could ask or imagine?

Why would it surprise you?

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